Christopher T. Dunham to Sarah E. (Sadie) Cummings, written October 18, 1862 at Covington, Kentucky.

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Christopher T. Dunham to Sarah E. (Sadie) Cummings, written October 18, 1862 at Covington, Kentucky.


Christopher Theodore Dunham was born Sept 24, 1836 in Berkshire, Tioga County, NY. He moved to Freeport, Stephenson County, IL around 1856 and in 1860 was elected county surveyor. In the spring of 1861 he enlisted as a corporal in Capt. Atkin's company in the 11th Illinois Regiment of the Union Army. He transferred to Noleman's Calvary Company and was mustered out July 5, 1862. He returned to Freeport where he again enlisted under the President's call of July 1. 1862 and was elected Captain of Company F, 92nd Illinois Volunteers. With his background as a surveyor, he was detailed as Topographical officer on the staff of Brigadier General A. Baird, commander of his regiment's division. In 1864 he was tendered by Governor Yates the commission of Lt. Col. but turned it down to remain on staff duty. He was also attached to HQ 3rd Div. Army of Kentucky and HQ 1st Div. Reserve Army Corps. In 1872 he was admitted to the Elgin Insane Asylum where he died January 27, 1878. His early letters were to his fiancee Sarah Cummings, spelled "Saddie"later changed to "Sadie". They married in the fall of 1862.


Christopher Theodore Dunham


October 18, 1862


Midway Village Museum






Head-Quarters U.S. Forces.
Covington, Ky. Oct the 18th 1862
My Dearest Wife –
With a heart overflowing with love do I pen you a few lines this evening – would that I were by your side dearest so that I might say what the pen cannot.
Today has been a very busy one for me & a dusty one too. The 92nd left this afternoon on the Lexington Road - & I should have went with it had I not been detailed on General Baird’s Staff – I was detailed this morning & have been busy to day [sic] in preparing for the March – I have a Horse & will have a much prettier position. I go on his staff as topographical Engineer & will act as aid-de-camp- &c &c – The Company is left on with my Bro. as Commandant –
Dearest Sadie how much I would liked to have heard from you before going on the march – have not heard
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one word from you since leaving you at Rockford – but if I do not hear – I know that you love me & so I am contented at present but will expect & hope to hear from you soon – will I not Love! I was pained to hear of the death of the gallant a man John a D Col. Daviss [sic] – poor fellow he meet [sic] his fate sooner than we had any of us expected. How many, many more precious lives must be Sacrificed before this accursed Rebellion will have been put down – none but he who knows all things can answer – This is quite a hilly & mountainous Country – It is much more difficult to meet the Enemy & vanquish him here than it would be on the plains of [Mo] , Arkansas – or the more level – regions along the Mississippi – so it needs a greater proportion number of men here against so fewer number of Rebels than it would in the [Stirter] department – however I think we will soon have troops Enough to overwhelm the Rebels – they come in every day
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My Darling how are you getting along are you attending to your music any!
When you write me (which I suppose you have already done) tell me everything of interest fill out a large Sheet & then interline [sic] it & then write upon the margin will you – I will write at every opportunity - & I Shall Expect my Love to do the same – Trusting that you are well & happy I will bid you a Good Night – pleasant dreams &c from Your ever Affectionate Husband Christ. T. Dunham

To his dear
Wife Sadie
P.S. Darling direct to Covington K.Y. (& for the present time) in care of General Beard.
Remember me to Mother & Father kiss will you dear

Sunday Morning Oct 19th /62
Dear Sadie. pleasant murning [sic]. Am very well indeed you I suppose go to Church when will I be home to accompany you! Good Morng [sic] &c CTD

Original Format



Christopher Theodore Dunham, “Christopher T. Dunham to Sarah E. (Sadie) Cummings, written October 18, 1862 at Covington, Kentucky.,” Midway Village Museum - Digital Collections, accessed April 16, 2024,